State grant matches dollars to spur community redevelopment projects

YORK, Pa. — Redevelopment projects in Pennsylvania needing help getting off the ground may receive some financial assistance from the state.

While developers may reap the rewards, taxpayers may wonder what they get out if the deal.

Many in York City hope the community will benefit from the program.

There's a saying that you have to spend money to make money, and that’s what a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program or RACP grant is designed to do.

For non-profit organizations, private businesses as well as municipalities in need of some extra cash to complete a few projects, the state might be able to help.

Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (D-York County) said “its an opportunity for non-profits, for historical entities, to come in and apply for money, and have redevelopment done.”

The redevelopment section of the Pennsylvania Capital Budget Itemization Act makes getting money from the state for those projects possible.

Royal Square Development and Construction president of development Dylan Bauer said “as a developer in the City of York, a lot of times these projects are upside down, and how they can make sense. It requires a subsidy from the state to even make sense of the numbers.”

“It’s the act that allows for this that creates these dollars to be put into a line item so that residents throughout the commonwealth can apply for those dollars,” Hill-Evans said.

As the state matches recipients of the grant dollar for dollar, some may wonder what’s in it for taxpayers.

“Our taxpayers benefit, their communities benefit,” Hill-Evans said.

“In a RACP grant, the developer is required to use local contractors, so there’s job creation under that, and again, a lot of these projects could never happen without such a grant. So, we’re looking at either a vacant building or a building that can bring commerce, residents, and entertainment to a city like York,” Bauer said.

Currently, two projects in York City reaping the rewards of a RACP grant include the redevelopment of the Yorktowne Hotel, and a new home for the York County History Center.

The hope is that many others will benefit as well.

“The economic impact from those two projects alone, is in the hundreds of jobs, and not to mention the thousands, upon tens of thousands of people that are coming to the building,” Bauer said.

“Especially us being so close in proximity to the Maryland state line, for Maryland folks to come, and into Pennsylvania to come to York specifically, they bring Maryland dollars into Pennsylvania. It’s a boom to our economy,” Hill-Evans said.

“So as we have more visitors that come into the area, it helps their businesses in return. So yes, they’re reaping the benefits as well,” Hill-Evans added.

The application period for a RACP grant is now open through February 27th.

Applications and a walkthrough of the process can be found here.